Cecil makes a hard, cold choice.
|Cecil’s whiskers twitched. Instinct told him Chester crouched outside the shed, ready to pounce if any scurried from their sanctuary. He could smell him; he could feel his breath on his neck. Someone was going to die, but who?
Scanning the five trainees, he cursed. They were complete novices, untutored in the art of evasion or camouflage. He considered Luka first. The most athletic, he had trounced the others on the obstacle course. The thought of losing him churned Cecil’s stomach.
Next to Luka rested Max, Vern, and Trey. Cecil snorted. They could make Chester a three-course meal. However, they were sitting up, sniffing the air. Their beady eyes scanned every nook and cranny. They sensed danger. Someday, they would make fine guards.
Eyes narrowed, Cecil shifted to the runt, Felix. As usual he was munching on crackers and cheese. Small and dimwitted, he was of no use to the nest.
“Felix,” Cecil whispered. “I’ve got an assignment for you.”
“See the opening to basecamp?” He pointed toward the drainpipe at the side of the house. “Can you show us the fastest route?”
“Yes, sir!” Felix replied, a huge grin splitting his face.
“Cadets!” The trainees jumped to attention. “Felix is going to demonstrate how speed and agility play a role in survival of the fittest. He’ll go first to show us the fastest route to our basecamp.” Turning to Felix, he said, “Don’t worry. We’ll be right behind you. Now, go!” Felix darted out.
From somewhere beyond the opening, a snarl and echoing squeal startled the young mice. Cecil shrugged. “That’s survival of the fittest. Now, head to base camp and don’t look back.” With a swish of his tail, Cecil whirled and darted through the opening, secure in the knowledge that Chester was otherwise occupied.
Word Count 299